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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 18, 2007 7:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Giving Billy his due

So, I am asking you guys since you clearly know drummers, and drumming, which I defn do NOT...what always struck me was that in songs, especially my favs like OOne and StStep, the drumming was amazing, background--not center stage. However, during longer solos, as in the transitions between songs in 68, I was never impressed with the drum solo...they didn't measure up to a drum solo by Baker, in my view, or Moon...

Am I wrong? Is there a big difference between 'fitting in' with the band/song rather than the straight up solo improvisation?

I love the sound of Billy, and liked it with both of them too, but always noticed an apparent lack of 'ohhhh' and 'ahhh' factor during the brief solos that I would get with other famous drummers of the day...

Again, no knock on the drummers for the Dead; just an observation and I am interested in your thoughts, drummer boys...

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Apr 18, 2007 8:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Giving Billy his due

I would agree with your asessment Tell as it pertains to your favorite years BUT when it came to the drum solo when they established the set in stone second set placement of what we all know as " drums" then I say it beats out everyone else. All your Bonhams, Bakers, Perts, etc. Because it evolved into 1000 times more than just a drum solo - it was a symphany of percussion and imo in later years it was always a guarantee that at least something interesting and strange would occur during drums.

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Poster: mcglone Date: Apr 18, 2007 9:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Giving Billy his due

only have a second to to chime in here... i whole-heartly agree with your breakdown johnnny. WT, wait till nightfall, then cue things up at drums and listen through to what falls out the other end...

ian

http://www.archive.org/details/gd78-04-21.sbd.cotsman.10149.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 18, 2007 12:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Giving Billy his due

Thanks guys--good insights. Appreciated.

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Poster: JamminJerome Date: Apr 18, 2007 8:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Giving Billy his due

Yes, neither Billy nor Mickey are flashy drummers. They aren't the type who will just whip out a super-speed solo (although they would from time to time), like something you might hear in Led Zepplin, Allman Bros, or almost any of today's "jam bands." However, they are solid and versatile. They rarely stick out, which is good. 1/2 the time when a drummer sticks out, it's because they mess up. Mickey and Billy were consistent and solid throughout their entire time with the dead. They are most notable for being able to drum to anything with the greatest of skill. They were also inventive and able to create their own moods and auras in many a Drums>Space.

I could say more, but I don't really have the time and nobody reads screen-long posts anyway.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 18, 2007 8:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Giving Billy his due

Hey! I do...thanks.

Yes, in part that was my point--didn't want to come off as knocking them since I do think the way they were the backbone, with Phil and Bobby, was an amazing part of the success of the boys since the rhythm was so vital to the sound. So, not being flashy was just what was necessary...just wondering why they didn't have more moments on their own...maybe they didn't really want that limelight, in a sense.

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